Former Center EMS operator gets year in prison for health care fraud

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A federal judge has sentenced an Elgin man for his role in an ambulance company health care fraud conspiracy to a year plus a day in prison.

William Morris Harvill, 50, must also pay $787,407.61 in restitution and serve three years of supervised release after he finishes his prison term.

Two co-defendants, Shon Everett Cooper, 43, of Center, and Cathy Messer Harvill, 57, of Elgin, received their sentences earlier this month. Cooper received five years probation and Harvill received 27 months in prison.

All three conspired from Jan. 2007 to March 2012 to make false claims through Medicare and Medicaid by using the ambulance services when it was not necessary. The indictment explains the three submitted claims for ambulance services when another form of transportation could have been used without endangering the patient's health, when the patients were not bed-confined, when there was no documentation that the patients' conditions were such that other means of transportation were contraindicated or when their conditions were such that an ambulance was not required.

According to the indictment, the Harvills owned North East Texas EMS and Cooper supervised the Nacogdoches office of the company.

Copyright 2014 KTRE. All rights reserved.